Notes on 19th Century Istanbul-Palace Foods

Joined Feb 3, 2010
All of the excerpts below tell his own times, from the eyes of an old baker named, Hagop Mintzuri. I recommend you to read throughly the book of this Ottoman, who aspired to be a writer and wrote his own book one day. It lays before our eyes the late Ottoman Empire downtown culture, commons perception, and the streets; you almost feel as if you get in the scene there...

Source :
Istanbul Memories (1897-1940)
Hagop Mintzuri
History Foundation of Turkey - Yurt Publications
Tarih Vakfý

" ... One of the things that I saw the most on my route at Ortakoy or Findikli was the delivery of foods by the servants. I was always coming across this scene. The servants who wear stambouline [a long, single-breasted frock coat worn by Turkish officials in the nineteenth century] in the same form, getting down to their knees in length, were getting out of the palace cuisine in an order, one by one, with trays on heads, walking in monotonous steps in tandem, and at the adresses they would go, they were leaving the group. The palace cuisines were the Yildiz and Ciragan Kushane cuisines on Dolmabahce Main Street. The food distribution was repeated 3 times a day. To the sultans, palace members, concubines, chamberlain sirs, palace masters in the palaces neighbourhood stretching from Findikli to Kuruçeşme shores for how many kilometers, they were delivering on the excuisite foods in the trays with lids: taskebaps, orman or testi kebaps, kulbastis, hanimbudu meatballs, kadingobegi dessertsı, rices with meatballs, rice-zerdes, hunkarbegendis, imambayildis, karniyariks, baklavas, saray lokmas, dilber dudagis, ekmek kadayifis, tavuk gogsus... The foods were being prepared so lavishly that, two shops at Besiktas, and another one at Ortakoy were selling to the populace ekmek kadayifi, muhallebi, and tavuk gogsu. A whole ekmek kadayifi soaked in its syrup or tavukgogsu in a wide service dish was sold for two kuruses [kurus is 1 hundredth of Turkish lira]. Howmanyever you want of the rice made of Egyptian rice was 1 kurus. Only the shops weren’t diners, you had to get the foods and go... "
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